Bloggers around the country reported long lines and short supplies at most AT&T outlets. Their experience mirrored that of consumers who attempted to buy an iPhone 4 when the device first went on sale at Apple stores last week.
But in a sign that the inventory squeeze is starting to ease, AT&T is also now accepting iPhone 4 orders on its online store. The carrier had temporarily halted online sales as heavy demand overwhelmed its Internet systems.
Still, those just getting around to ordering an iPhone 4 can expect a lengthy wait time. Apple's e-commerce site was indicating a wait time of three weeks for orders placed as of midday Tuesday.
Numerous Ebay sellers are looking to cash in on the shortage, hawking the new smartphone at prices approaching $1,000. Officially, the 16GB model is priced at $199 while the 32GB model is listed at $299. Both prices require a two-year AT&T contract.
iPhone 4 features a number of enhancements over its predecessor, the iPhone 3GS, including higher screen resolution (960 x 640 pixel technology dubbed Retina Display), a front-facing camera for video chats, and a longer lasting battery that affords 40% more talk time. It's also 24% thinner.
iPhone 4 also includes a 3-axis gyro and a slick new glass and stainless steel case—and it's capable of multitasking thanks to the new iOS 4 operating system.
"iPhone 4 is the biggest leap since the original iPhone," Apple CEO Steve Jobs proclaimed as he unveiled the product on June 7 at an Apple event in San Francisco.